Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Disruptive Technologies and Business Models
Disruption: inducing radical and sudden change; a radical change in an industry, business strategy, etc., especially involving the introduction or a new product or service that creates a new market.
Some would claim that Amazon.com is beginning to disrupt Wal-Mart. eBay and Craigslist have disrupted traditional classified ads. Netflix disrupted Blockbuster. Digital photography (invented at Kodak) disrupted Kodak's film-based photography. SmartPhone cameras have changed the way people take pictures. Electronic greeting cards are disrupting traditional greeting cards. CarMax was intended to disrupt traditional used car dealers. Uber is disrupting traditional taxi service. Airbnb is disrupting the hospitality market. SmartPhones have made traditional phones obsolete. They are also making major inroads in the the markets for other computing devices.
Nanotechnology makes devices and components significantly cheaper, faster and more functional. 3D printing will be disruptive to many industries. Photonics is radically changing the traditional semiconductor world. Cloud services are changing the way we back up computers. Crowd sourcing is changing the way people raise money for projects. The Square and similar devices have made it much easier and less expensive for anyone to accept credit cards as a form of payment. Alta Devices is making it easier to embed thin, flexible solar panels into any device or material.
Is your brand defined in a way that it can transcend and incorporate disruptive technologies? Or is it so linked to an approach or technology that could be obsolete that it will die with the old approach or technology? Further, are people in your organization willing to make their current approaches or technologies obsolete with the latest disruptive technology or are they fighting the disruptive technology all the way to maximize profits until the business and brand crashes and burns. This is something worth thinking about.